Solo mum swamped by cash woes

54 comments
Fleur Mitchell and her son Oliver Mitchell
Fleur Mitchell and her son Oliver Mitchell

Solo mum Fleur Mitchell is on the verge of having her power disconnected and losing her house as she struggles to overcome mounting debt.

Ms Mitchell, 37, is a cancer survivor who still requires regular medical attention. She is on an invalids benefit and receives about $500 from WINZ per week.

However, the money isn't enough to help her weather a spate of bad luck.

Ms Mitchell's eldest son, Dallas, is studying at EIT to gain a diploma in computer programming.

As there was no room in Ms Mitchell's Hastings house for Dallas, he is living in a rented cabin on the property.

Dallas wasn't eligible for a student allowance because he technically lived at home. As a result, he has racked up more than $9000 in debt, which was discouraging him from continuing his tertiary study.

"This debt. It's just killing him and it's killing me, too," Ms Mitchell said.

"Where is the help for people like us?"

Ms Mitchell's youngest son, Oliver, had been gifted a $600 custom scooter by his grandparents.

Oliver's scooter was stolen from outside Hastings Countdown last week.

After Ms Mitchell posted about the scooter on Facebook, Hastings District Council's iWay programme donated Oliver a new scooter this week.

Ms Mitchell said she was extremely grateful for iWay's generosity, but her circumstances remained dire.

Oliver attended Havelock North Intermediate, where he was required to use a laptop in class.

His laptop was broken and he was borrowing one from a friend in a finite arrangement.

Ms Mitchell could not afford insurance and without a laptop, Oliver was unable to participate in the school's digital-based curriculum.

Furthermore, Ms Mitchell said her power bill had skyrocketed to $300 a month because Dallas had no insulation in his cabin and relied on an oil heater to keep warm.

Her power provider had warned if she didn't pay her power bill by next week, her power would be cut.

She was also a month behind on her mortgage payments.

"If I can't pay this month, I'll lose the house."

She was also unable to buy high-quality meat or vegetables, instead resorting to processed food, such as frozen fish and oven fries.

# If you would like to help Ms Mitchell, please email editor@hbtoday.co.nz and we will put you in touch with her.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n3 at 30 Aug 2014 11:32:34 Processing Time: 444ms